Renowned sports administrator and journalist Pa Peter Chukwuma Osugo, popularly known as PECOS, has died at the age of 92.
A statement signed by one of his children, Leo Osugo, disclosed that the nonagenarian died on January 24.
Osugo, also known as Jet Forces, was ex-Editor of the Sunday Times and Team Manager of the National Team and defunct Stationery Stores Football Club.
The polymath who straddled and excelled in geology, politics, journalism and sports was born in Port Harcourt on April 21, 1929.
Osugo grew up in northern Nigeria and had most of his elementary school education in Minna, Niger State, before proceeding to St. Gregory’s College, Obalende, Lagos, where his talent as an athlete and sportsman was identified and nurtured by the school principal, Fr. Moran.
He represented St. Gregory’s College and the then Lagos Colony in the 440 yards (400 metres) race. He held the Nigerian record in this event for many years.
Osugo joined the Nigeria Geological Survey in Kaduna as a technical assistant before finding his true calling as a journalist. He joined the West African Pilot as a reporter and became Lead Writer before joining the Daily Times. He was Sports Editor and later Editor of the Sunday Times, which became the largest selling newspaper in Nigeria by 1975.
His incisive writings on Nigerian and global sports coupled with his previous background as an elite athlete came to the attention of a new breed of Nigerian entrepreneurs, notably the late Israel Adebajo, who had acquired the Stationery Stores Supply Company in Apapa and wanted to start a football club to promote the company brand.
Adebajo approached PECOS to become the Team Manager of Stationery Stores Football Club, which became the lightning rod for Nigerian football with a fanatical Lagos and national fan base.
PECOS was invited to become the Team Manager with up to nine Stores players in the national team. He is credited with renaming the Red Devils to the Green Eagles before its metamorphosis to the current Super Eagles.
Pa Osugo is survived by his brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
The statement disclosed that funeral arrangements would be announced soon and that tributes could be sent firstname.lastname@example.org.